How To Maximize Profit During The Holiday Season In The Restaurant Industry

Restaurant owner looking at emails for the holiday

For many businesses, the holiday season is a make or break period. It's a big mistake to start prepping for the busiest time of the year only a month or two in advance. It is never too early to start preparing your restaurant for the holiday season.

Planning Ahead

Do some research and try to forecast what items you will need. Inventory planning is critical as you do not want to sell out early on main dishes or have too much product by the end of the holiday season. During the holiday season vendors also have a busy schedule, so it is best to expedite deliveries to make sure you receive the product on time. Constantly keeping a close eye on inventory within a couple weeks before the busiest part of the holiday season starts is key to make sure you have everything you need before the big rush.

Marketing Strategy

Online ads are probably the easiest way to market your brand as they can now target customers by location, age, and gender. This is crucial in a business because you’ll be spending money on ads directed towards people that are most likely to spend money at your establishment. Another way you can market yourself is by giving back to the local community by donating your time or resources. Your old ads that worked in the past can be recycled again by adding some holiday-themed touches. When marketing your restaurant, it is best to have a clear strategic message. Doing this will maximize the restaurant’s return on investment. While you can’t always beat your competitors with price, you can market yourself by how unique your restaurant is.

E-mail Lists

The best way to set yourself up for success is to gather e-mail addresses early on in the year. You should be sending e-mails throughout the year and not only when the business is in need closer to the holidays. Sending out e-mails is a better way to market your business if you do not want to spend a lot money on ads. By doing this, customers start to recognize your brand early on which generates loyalty and customers come to you first. Within these e-mails, when minor holidays pass by, update your e-mail campaign to have unique words to emphasize the holiday. Encourage your employees to gather e-mails at the end of each cover to gain loyalty through future e-mails.

Holiday Theme

While you don’t have to create an entirely new menu, you can feature dishes that go with that specific holiday. Matching your menus with eye pleasing window decorations will create a cohesive theme throughout the restaurant. Having employees get in the holiday spirit will heighten the experience for the customers. If your restaurant has a retail part, make sure you put key items front and center. If there are some products not selling, try to pair that item with a best seller. Remember to decorate the retail section to match with the rest of the restaurant.

Employees

In season, there is always a need for extra help. Higher traffic of customers requires more staff, so a few months before the big holiday season hire new employees. This is so you will be able to train them when it's not as busy. A lot of the time restaurants change their menus according to each holiday so it is essential for employees to be re-trained on what is expected of them. Make sure you can provide structure for your employees so the season doesn’t overwhelm them or you. Something to try out is incentives for employees with the best feedback from customers.